tv Dateline NBC NBC December 16, 2013 2:00am-3:01am PST
it was just chaos. lots of screaming. lots of gunfire. i said, any bullet would have to pass through me first before it gets to these children. >> i just laid on them and prayed and just prayed and prayed and prayed. >> tonight the first inside look at the mall attack that stunned the world. exclusive details and new images reveal an ordinary day turned terrifying drama, especially for these two moms and their kids. >> i just kept telling them to be quiet like a mouse. >> my goodness, he's going to cry. this is it. >> for one of these moms, even
more terror. her two boys on their own somewhere else in the mall. >> she said she wanted her brothers, and i told her that we would see them later. >> but just when things seemed hopeless, two heroes would appear. >> i told the lady now. >> and a little girl would show us all the meaning of courage. >> when porsche got up and ran, did you have a moment when you thought, oh, my god? >> i'm lester holt, and this is "dateline." here's kate snow with "nowhere to hide." >> it's the modern day town square. a gathering place that fulfills our every need, shopping, eating, socializing, a trip to the mall is an escape on weekends. and not just in america, in nairobi, kenya, the modern west gate mall was the place to unwind at the end of the workweek. it was the last place you would
expect something like this. gunshots, explosions, armed men taking over every floor, methodically shooting anyone in their way. that was the unbelievably brutal scene that played out in front of a shocked world on september 21st. just after the smoke cleared, "dateline" traveled to nairobi. tonight we'll take you inside the mall attack with never before seen pictures of how it unfolded and new details from those who lived through it. you'll hear from two mothers caught in the cross fire. >> it was pretty terrifying. it really was. it was very, very scary. >> two mothers caught on camera. >> what's going to happen? i'm going to die. the kids are going to die.
>> in a matter of seconds, these moms, an american and a kenyan, would go from strolling through the mall to being forced to make life and death decisions to save themselves and their children. for catherine walton it began like any other saturday, with her husband philip away on business she took their five kids to the westgate mall. it was a place where all of them could be entertained, the teens and the toddlers. her kids liked the chicken place, the candy store. >> just an opportunity to walk around, kill a couple of hours. i knew we would go home and have naps and everybody would be happy. >> the waltons chose to move to kenya two years ago from texas. for catherine and philip, it was like going home. they were both children of mish missionaries and grew up in countries in west africa. they met in boarding school in africa, married in the states, and started raising their family.
blez was born 14 years ago and then ian, 10, porsche 4, gigi 2, petra, the baby, 13 months old, was born in kenya. their morning at the mall unfolded just as any family's might, they had lunch together in the third floor food court. after lunch the boys desighed to race down to the first floor to a big department store, sort of like a super walmart, called nakumot. mom and the three young girls were still finishing up lunch, so they lagged behind. as they were walking through the mall to koch up with the boys, with the baby in a sling and two toddlers holding mom's hands, it happened, an explosion. >> the first thing that tells you something is wrong is a huge bang. >> coming from where? >> it was the main entrance, so it was off to my right and behind me. i remember turning around and looking at it and just seeing
people screaming and running. >> in those first seconds catherine was unsure what was happening. she thought it sounded like broken glass or something falling. but she immediately grasped that she and her girls were in danger. >> the chaos confused another mother not far from catherine on the main floor. faith was in the mall with her two children, 9-year-old daughter sy and 21-month-old son ty. the agricultural researcher was shopping for an anniversary present for her husband. she was in a flower shop when she first heard the noise. >> it was so loud that i actually thought it must have been an earthquake and the building was collapsing. that's the point when i just told my kids to lie down. of course, i'm scanning the area wondering where we're going to go. >> reporter: scenes captured on security cameras in the mall show how quickly the attacks again. you can see machine gun bullets flashing down the main concourse
as shoppers frantically scramble and dive to the floor. >> and then i saw trace around starting to hit the shots that were straight ahead. >> reporter: catherine's first thought, protect her kids. >> it was, you know, just instinct, to grab the girls and run. but we must not have gone very far and a kenyan woman came, scooped up porsche and we both ran right behind this -- this display table, display cabinet. >> reporter: catherine, her girls, and the kenyan woman took cover the only place they could. here they are crouching under a flimsy temporary display table. >> petra was crying because i was laying on her and it was loud. it was very loud, very chaotic. >> reporter: what was happening around you? wh what were you hearing? >> catherine knew her boys had been headed toward the department store amid all the noise and commotion, she managed
to call them and yell out a quick warning. >> i said, don't come out of there. she they're shooting. go, run, hide. do not come out. >> reporter: catherine knew the situation was dangerous, extremely dangerous, but at least she had some cover. faith and her kids were also trapped on the ground floor but cowering out in the open, exposed not gunmen stalking new victims. >> i'm telling the kids lie down, this continues, loud sounds. that's when i knew they were shooting. then i thought, oh, no, wrong place hiding place. i remember my daughter at one point asking me, mama, was this the best place to hide? >> reporter: the assault continues. >> you're not hearing one gun? >> no. >> it sounded all like it was all over. of course, in the biddiuilding, was just echoing and reverberating. >> you could look up and see other floors? >> where i was laying i could
see across and up the different levels. it was just chaos. >> what's the smell like? >> the whole mall was cloudy and just smoke everywhere. gunpowder burning smell. >> did any of them come anywhere near you? >> i saw two of them that walked from the main entrance in front of the line of stores that were directly in front of us. >> hold on. what did you see? i mean, you saw their feet go by? >> no, i saw them. i saw two whole men. you know, they were 50 yards, 30 yards away. i don't know. >> what did they look like? >> they had tan and gray clothing, and they were carrying very, very large weapons. very large guns. >> reporter: hearing the gunfire and screams echoing through the mall, both catherine and faith could tell the gunmen were sprayeding out, killing people as they went along. two mothers trapped with young children worried they would be next.
and a growing fear, catherine, her boys were no longer answering their phone. where were they? >> one of the worst parts of the whole ordeal was just that, the terrifying uncertainty for those inside the mall and loved ones outside. >> i get one by a phone call, your wife and son rsz in there and they're separated. >> soon a friend of catherine's who has been texting with her would go from worried to frantic. >> when she sent that, my heart just sunk. [ male announcer ] no matter what city you're playing tomorrow.
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armed men stormed into the westgate mall in nairobi, kenya, firing round after fatal round. katherine walton was hunkered down near where the shooting had started, crouched in a small kiosk with a stranger and her three young daughters. she was desperately worried about her sons who were somewhere out there but she had to keep quiet so they wouldn't attract attention. >> are you hiding from the gunmen? >> yeah, we were laying down on the ground trying to hide from them. portia kept her fingers in her fingers. gigi laid there and said, mom, i want my blanket and her flashlights. she said she wanted her brothers. i told her we would see them later. >> reporter: katherine could only hope that was true. half a world away a fire rangph
in a hotel in california. her husband philip had gone back to the u.s. on business meetings leaving her wife alone in nairobi with her five kids. >> i got woke up from a phone call from paul weaver, a dear family friend so i knew it was not good. >> do you remember what he said? >> yeah, there's an attack going on at westgate and your wife and sons are in there and they're separated. >> that's a call you don't want to have to make. >> no. >> reporter: paul weaver, the walton family friend, had been at home recovering from surgery when he got an urgent text from katherine. >> what time did the first message come? >> the first one came in at 12:52. >> what did she say? >> prey. shooting in westgate. hiding. >> that's a message. >> it just blew me away. i actually wrote her back, really? she said, yes. i don't know where the boys are. she said, find blaise. >> paul texted the oldest son
blaise but he didn't answer. >> i started looking on the sbertd. they put something out on the internet don't call anybody because people are getting shot when their phone rings. >> paul didn't call but stayed in touch with katherine through text messages. >> i sent a text, get me out of here. like i really thought he could but i was just desperate. >> and that one, when she sent that, my heart just sunk. >> reporter: katherine didn't text her husband philip because she knew he was too far awe to do anything and knew she would only panic him. back in north carolina all philip could do is wait. it was 6:00 a.m. and news of the attack hadn't hit the u.s. yet. >> i'm trying to imagine the feeling of getting that phone call and being so far away. >> i think helplessness is a pretty accurate word. you know there's nothing that you can do. i was so worried the girls would just be screaming and like uncontrollably panicking. and drawing attention. >> reporter: exactly what
katherine was trying to prevent the girls from doing. >> i just kept telling them to stay little, to stay very quiet, and that the kenyan lady that was with portia just kept patting her and soothing her. and gigi was just curled in a little ball. her breathing was so quiet and so shallow. i just kept rubbing her back and touching her because i was, like, maybe she's hurt and i don't realize it. >> reporter: cramped in her hiding spot she was desperate to reach her boys. after trying and trying, she finally got through again. >> i was able to send a text and just said, are you okay? and he told me that they were okay. and that they were safe. >> you thought your boys had gotten out. >> i did. when he told me they were safe, i thought they had gotten out. >> reporter: but they hadn't. the walton boys were hiding in the back of the store. the cellphone video captured the
battlefield the store became. the aisles were a bullet riddled maze. shoppers were stunned. some drawing fire. and now there were gunmen headed toward katherine's sons. faitd was the other mother trapped in this nightmare. she had her two young children with her and was worried about controlling her toddler son. they heard gunfire all around them. >> i feel right now because i was lying on him trying to shield him at one point and i said, oh, my goodness, lying on this floor and then impressing down on his back, he must be so uncomfortable. at that point that is when i put my finger in his mouth, you know, hoping to give him something to suck on. >> reporter: they remained like that frozen in place, first for minutes, then for an hour. she was terrified her son would start crying and give them away. >> i can see his fist creasing into a cry and, my goodness,
he's going to cry. this is it. coming up, faith makes a fateful choice. >> now, our cover has been blown. >> while our other mom katherine becomes terrified that she and her girls are moments away from being discovered. >> i knew that as those men came around behind us that they could see us. >> when "dateline" continues.
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katherine walton was still in her makeshift hiding spot on the main floor of the mall, an hour into the attack she was still trying to keep her three restless daughters contained under that flimsy table. their only protection from the roaming gunmen. it was a job that got harder as the mall got quieter. >> there was a lull.
and petra picked up the phone and was playing with it and gigi was trying to take it away from her. then the shooting started again. one of them threw the phone and it just got underneath our bodies and i couldn't reach it. >> you couldn't text anybody. >> i couldn't text anybody. couldn't get ahold of anybody. >> for a couple of hours there i was texting her and no more texting from then. other people were calling me saying this was really bad. we're seeing pictures of people being killed. >> and she's not responding to you now? >> no. >> just down the corridor another mother struggled to keep her children quiet. >> you're thinking about our survival, also thinking will this stop and run to an area where it's safe. >> there was nowhere else for faith and her children to go. she told them being quiet wasn't enough. she made an incredible decision, they would all play dead. her 9-year-old daughter could understand how important it was to stay still. amazingly her 2-year-old son seemed to sense it, as well.
he didn't move, except for an occasional blink. men with machine guns scoured every inch of the mall. >> we were right next to a corridor where we could see them passing from time to time but there was no way i could change my position. >> reporter: as the minutes dragged into hours knowing her son might stir at any moment faith was relieved when he dozed off for a bit. >> he was lying down on the ground, you know, snoring away. i didn't know whether he was alive because when eyes were shut, sleep. >> hot, cramped, with numb limbs, faith urged her kids to fight the urge to move. >> my daughter, whenever i felt like she was twitching or changing her position because my hand was on her arm, i would just yourksz know, just squeeze a little bit and that she turned and said to me, stay still. >> reporter: but then 2-year-old ty woke up, faith wondered how much longer he could hold on.
she took a chance and played game. she pretended glass and cement were insects to keep them distracted. >> there's an insect coming. watch it. he really likes insects. >> reporter: the gunmen continued to blazingly patrol the mall floors looking for victims. katherine was worried they would finally see her and the girls. after all, she was seeing the gunmen. >> when they walked by you were they shooting? >> no, they were walking very slow. they almost had a demeanor like they owned the place, like they knew they were in control. >> did they see you? >> they looked my direction. i knew that as those men came out of that store and came around behind us, that they could see us. >> reporter: those men had already killed dozens of shoppers. in this video captured by a security camera, a wounded person is prodded by a terrorist. other parts, too graphic to
broad kar broadca broadcast, show the gunmen callously shooting people in the mall. as t. outside world was beginning to get some idea of how terrible it was. >> good evening. loud explosions were heard tonight in the kenyan capital of nairobi. >> reporter: those still trapped inside the mall couldn't know they were part of a terrorist attack. faith and her two kids remained absolutely still. it was their only chance for surviv survival, but her mind race d. >> thinking about my husband, where is he? i'm wondering will any of my children get shot? with will i get shot and my children have no mother after this? >> reporter: faith was determined to protect her children at any cost. >> i remember covering the children. my son's head and i said, any bullet would have to pass through me first before it gets to these children. >> reporter: faith and her children had been flat on the
floor for a full 3 1/2 hours when suddenly she heard something. >> we had heard voices from above us from higher floor asking us to get up. mother, mother with the children, you mother, down there with the children. he was now addressing me. immediately we got up on to our knees and trying to get up and go, the shooting started again. >> reporter: she thought by moving she had drawn attention to herself. >> we were scared. thought our covered had been blown. now they know that we are really not dead. >> reporter: faith didn't trust anyone now so when a man approached, she was sure it wasn't good. >> that's when i felt somebody touching me, you know, they had come for us because now they know we are alive. so we just laid down there and i remember telling the children, shh, quiet. coming up, faith has to make a split-second decision, their lives depend on it. should she trust the man talking
to her child. >> baby, baby, touching my daughter, baby, baby. >> and then, a fresh shot for katherine's husband. >> that was very traumatic to me. [ female announcer ] what does he really want for the holidays. ♪ wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin' ♪ you! give him k-y yours + mine. it's naughty and nice. ♪ all you got to do is hold him and kiss him ♪
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returning to our story, on terrorists have taken over a shopping mall combing every-inch, shooting victim after helpless victim. two moms and their kids are hunkered down hoping to wait it out, but soon each will face a critical decision, stay where they are or make a break for it. again, kate snow. >> reporter: for 3 1/2 hours after armed gunmen stormed the westgate mall, two mothers had been trapped.
katherine walton crouched for cover with three young daughters under a temporary kiosk, gunmen patrolling nearby. and faith wambua, three and her young children played dead. they moved once and were instantly shot out. as a man approached, faith held her position but he wasn't a terrorist, he was a police officer. >> baby, baby, touch anything daughter. baby, baby, are you okay? are you okay? i said, wow, in my mind i'm thinking this must be good, are you okay, not are we alive, are we okay? then he said, it's safe. it's safe. it's the police. >> reporter: faith's 9-year-old daughter sy was the first to move. >> my daughter put her head and asked him, are you with the bad guys because, i mean, i was still looking down. i was scared. now they've come where we are and my daughter has put her head up, too late to even tell her to
go back down. engage the policeman in a conversation. are you with the bad people. and she said, mama, look up. >> reporter: and then almost against her instincts faith began to trust. >> when i looked up i seen his civilian jacket. i didn't know who he was other than to trust somebody in a uniform. and then he, as he sat up, then i saw his shirt. i was able to recognize the uniform and then he said, it's fine. i'm going to lead you to safety. get up. >> reporter: desperately afraid to move, faith agreed it was time to make a run for it. still worried that gunfire would erupt again, faith slowly got up and crouched toward the exit with her children. >> i remember seeing a body lying there on the steps but i said, i'm focusing on where we are going. there was this policeman, the one carry anything daughter was running too fast and was wra ahead. the one with my son was lagging behind.
i said, don't separate us. i kept saying, my son, my son. >> reporter: after all those hours forced to keep her children quiet, they were finally out. >> i'm crying now because i'm free, you know, there's all of these tears of joy. >> reporter: in his hotel room 6,000 miles away in charlotte philip walton could only hope his story would have such a happy ending. he was combing through kenyan news reports he saw on social media. >> i know one specifically where he said they were. somebody had just seen them bring a child's body out in a shopping cart. and they said it was a 5 or 6-year-old little boy. and i thought to myself, well, i don't think anybody would confuse our boys for being 5 or 6. but could they confuse one of our little girls for being a boy? and i -- that was -- that piece of news was very traumatic to me. >> reporter: in agony and alone, he prayed and started playing
one song over and over in his mind. >> i think we do have a measure of grace that comes to us in very difficult times. for me it was a u2 song that went off in the back of my head called "40" from the 40th psalm. ♪ >> i just started weep iing singing that song over and over. it was exactly what i needed to hear. i got comfort from that. >> i know the song. >> it's an awesome song. ♪ how long to sing this song >> exactly. yeah. it kind became kind of the i understand inspiration of hope. it gave me something to pray about during the time that i didn't know what was going on. >> reporter: he was comforted by his faith but it was impossible not to worry. by now, he knew what his wife
didn't, that his entire family was caught in a carefully coordinated full-blown terrorist attack. >> you think the worse, you know. when you know that these are terrorists and you know that their intent is not, you know, to steal something and get out of there, it's to kill people. you know that their intent is to hurt christians, you know that their intent is to try and disrupt our way of life in kenya. you know, it's -- the realities of what that could mean are very present. >> reporter: we had no way of knowing whether his family was alive or not, no way of knowing that soon some of his prayers would be answered. coming up, philip and katherine's sons are trapped in
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philip walton was awakened by a call telling him his family was trapped inside the westgate mall, pinned down by gunfire. he had been on his computer all morning checking for updates, then suddenly he received a facebook message from a friend with a freeze frame, a video, and there in the bottom right-hand corner was an unmistakable site, his two sons, alive and outside the mall. >> it was my two sons standing with my business partners. very big, very noticeable man. >> reporter: paul weaver raised down to the mall area and confirmed the picture was real. the boys were out. >> and just seeing them, i mean, i don't think there's been any bigger hugs in the world. but it was joy but at the same time just seeing the anguish in their face and blaise, we just sat on the floor and he just laid his head down and all the emotions coming through. it was the greatest moment and one of the saddest moments at the same time.
>> reporter: a joyful moment for philip knowing his boys were finally safe but too brief because he knew his wife and three young daughters were still trapped in that mall. the walton boys, 14-year-old blaise and 10-year-old ian, had endured 3 1/2 hours in the most dangerous area, in the nakuma department store, where terrorists hunted down innocent victims. terrifying for anyone, but especially for two boys separated from their mother. this is blaise walton, it was difficult for him to recount the story of what happened to him and his brother but he wanted to tell it, starting from the beginning. the two brothers had just paid and were still standing in the checkout line when they saw something strange. >> and what's the first thing you hear, see, what's weird? >> everybody looks to the main entrance, and we all look as well. everybody in nakuma. and then a loud sound happened and three people go flying.
and that's when people realize what's going on and they run. >> people are flying into the air? >> fell backwards. it was scary. >> did you think it was a bomb or something? >> i thought it was a bomb at first but then when i heard the two gunfire sounds, i knew it wasn't just a bomb. it was something else. >> reporter: he knew he had to protect himself and, more than that, he knew he was responsible for his younger brother. you grabbed your brother? >> yeah. >> as fast as you could? >> yeah, and just ran. >> were you pushing him? >> yes. >> you didn't want him to see anything? that's hard for -- that would be hard for me, as grown-up. >> yes. >> at 14, it's pretty darn hard. >> it really is. >> reporter: blaise clutching his brother ian racing away from the gunfire with just one thought. >> i thought, ian first, save him. me second. >> you headed toward the back of the store? >> other people at that time
were rushing back. so we followed the crowd. >> reporter: they made it to a storeroom at the back of the nakuma. others were hiding there, too, including an american mother with her own kids. without katherine there to comfort them, the boys stayed with that mother. blaise hoped they were far enough away from the gun-toting terrorists, but they weren't. surveillance video shows the terrorists made it all of the wayi way to the back hunting for more victims. but this wise 14-year-old did something genius. >> i pulled ian aside and sat him down on a thing of flour. one by one by one meters of flour on all sides of him. >> kind of like a barricade of flour bags? >> yeah, and we put toilet paper on top our our heads so no one could see us. >> why did you need to be hidden? >> we didn't know if they would be walking back and looking for us so we just pulled it off. >> reporter: 10-year-old ian
walton remembers how scared he was. >> did you see any of the bad guys? >> no, but did seem like someone closed a gate to where we were and it seemed like they were trying to shoot through it and threw a grenade to blow it up a but it never got through. >> you heard a lot of loud sounds? >> yeah. >> yikes. and you said you were back there how long? >> about 3 1/2 hours. >> we thought about it a little bit, yeah. but when you were there, i know if it were me i would have been really, really scared. you were pretty, pretty scared? >> yeah. all my brother and me did was just pray for our family and just laid there. >> reporter: they lay there and listened. >> and every once in a while we would hear gunfire, grenade sounds, and at one point these people came in saying we're the police. it's okay. >> reporter: the gunfire the walton boys had been hearing briefly paused and those voices identifying themselves to police were encouraging people to come
out. around him, blaise heard people start moving. >> they walked out. and then about 15 seconds later wow just heard loud machine gunfire for about 30 seconds and then it just because quiet. >> so you think it was the bad guys luring them out? >> yes. >> you did the right thing by staying where you were. >> yeah. the lady we were with, she told us what to do every step of the way. without her, i think me and my brother would have gone out with that crowd. thanks to her we're still alive. >> reporter: the walton boys were hold up in that back room when eventually police were able to break down a door and get people out. the security camera shows the chaos in the crowd after being released. look closely, there's blaise in his red shirt and ian with his backpack, free after 3 1/2 hours of being trapped. relief washed over philip walton when he saw his boys in the image his friend sent him. at least his sons were okay. >> i remember thinking at that
ti time, at least i won't be alone. you know, i remember thinking, you know, however horrific this day is, at least the boys and i will have each other if it turns out worse than we would hope or imagine. >> reporter: his wife katherine was still trapped under that tiny table with her three girls. and now things were looking worse. a man with a gun was headed their way. coming up, just who was he? and then, a daring escape plan from an unlikely hero. >> i tell the lady, now. >> what happened next amazed the world.
shooting at everyone. and now a man with a gun was creeping toward her. >> you were under that table for hours. at some point you hear something, you see something? >> i think there was a little bit of commotion. and the kenyan woman said the cops are here. >> reporter: but it wasn't the police. it was a kenyan man named abdul haji, the businessman and father of four had received a text message from his brother earlier that morning. >> message was very brief. it just read, at westgate. terrorists. pray for me. >> reporter: abdul haji bolted to the mall and was stunned by what he saw when he got there. carnage everywhere. he was terrified for his brother who works for the kenyan intelligence service and had received death threats from al shaba shabaab, the same terror group that was not attacking the mall. >> at this point in time the
magnitude of the whole situation dawned on me. >> reporter: security forces were just arriving. and abdul, who's licensed to carry a gun, decided in an instant to join them. they enter the mall from the parking garage on the top floor. abdul's brother was still in the mall and actually not far from katherine walton and her girls on the main floor. he was hiding in a bathroom. abdul worked his way down to the main floor. and as he did, his brother managed to escape. >> i reached my phone to try and call him and i see this message on my screen saying, i'm out, i'm safe, please come out. >> reporter: but abdul haji didn't come out. despite the gruesome scene, the blood, the bodies, the smell of smoke and constant gunfire, he decided to stay and help. abdul searched through the mall looking for victims. then he made a discovery that shocked him. >> i look down and i see somebody hiding behind a table.
it was a lady. she looked very scared. and i'm thinking, she was right in the middle of the cross fire. >> reporter: katherine spotted abdul, too, but sensed he wasn't a threat. >> how did you know they weren't terrorists? >> they weren't carrying the large guns we had seen that the terrorists had. >> reporter: with just a few words between them, katherine walton and abdul haji quickly coordinated an exit strategy. >> we opened fire towards the door, you know, just to scare the terrorists away. >> reporter: and then it was time. >> and then we hold fire and then i tell the lady, now, and suddenly this young girl appears out of nowhere. and i just call to her to run towards me and she starts running. and immediately i'm thinking, what a brave girl. >> when portia got up and run, did you have a moment when you thought, oh, my god? >> i think that i realized that it was precarious that i was also trusting that if they were
telling us to run, that it was safe. >> for katherine, it was a gigantic leap of faith after shielding her daughters for 4 1/2 hours, she knew that to save them, she would have to let them go. the image of 4-year-old portia running to abdul haji was one no one would soon forget. katherine wasn't far behind and they weren't alone. these images show the terror on the faces of others being rescued by the police in those same moments. their desperation to be free. in north carolina philip got a phone call from his business partner eric. >> i got confirmation from eric that he was standing with them and that they were all safe. >> your whole family? >> yeah. i broke down and cried. yeah. and then it -- then you can let go. then you can just kind of -- you
can collapse. >> reporter: later, a picture followed. his wife and children trapped in that mall for hours in terror were now in the safety of a friend's house, together. >> simply the most precious thing i could even imagine, to see all of them, you know, sitting there in safety and knowing that they had come through it. >> reporter: philip grabbed the first flight back to kenya. >> it must have felt really good when he got off the plane. >> it was very good because he knows a mom, when dad is not around, you feel like you have to keep it together and you've got to be strong. and kids were very excited to see him. they had been asking. they were relieved to finally be able to touch him and hug him and have that extra security. >> reporter: these exclusive images show the devastation and destruction of the westgate mall, ravaged by a siege that dragged on four four days. terrorists linked to al qaeda claimed responsibility and the kenyan government says at least 67 people died.
for the survivors, it's been difficult to make sense of it all, to move on. faith wambua, went home, hugged her husband. two days after the attack it was time for celebration. >> grateful for being alive, children for being alive. i'm grateful to be reunite with his husband. i never thought i would see the second anniversary. and this incident has actually brought us more closer. we don't want to leave each other's sides. >> reporter: faith and her children were reunite with that police officer who reached out to her on that terrible day, grateful he risked his life to save theirs. >> hello. >> reporter: the waltons, too, are grateful for friends, new and old, especially young portia who beamed when we showed her a
picture of her rescuer on a smartphone. >> is that mr. haji? >> yes. >> what did he do? >> he saved us. >> he saved you. >> hi. how are you? >> good, how are you? >> nice to see you again. >> reporter: three days after the worst day of their lives, the waltons were reunited with their hero. >> hi. how are you? >> abdul haji is himself the father of a 4-year-old daughter and a muslim. it's not lost on him that he is now forever linked to a christian family who chose to live in kenya. >> that's what humanity is all about. it happened that i was a muslim and they were christians but at that time, what i was seeing was a little girl and her mother. i was not seeing what religion they were. >> lots of emotions. >> as we've been able to tell this story and spend time with haji and, you know, to see the courage of a man like that, is an inspiration to me. >> reporter: at just 14 blaise walton has a new perspective. >> you've seen the worst of
humanity and you've seen best of humanity. >> yeah, same day, it's a miracle to live both of those in one day. >> reporter: and for katherine and her children, as dismal and as dark those events in that mall were, she refuses to do anything but grow and be positive for herself and her family. >> because i don't want them to come out of this and hate or be angry about what haened. >> it would be easy to be angry. >> it would be very easy to be angry. i don't want them to see if bad part of it. i want them to turn that bad situation into something positive. >> what will you tell the girls when they get older? >> i think i'll tell them that they were brave. you know? that we were in a bad situation but they were so good. that's what i tell them now when i hug and kiss them and i just say, you're just my brave girls. you're so -- i just can't believe you, you're so brave. that's all for now.
i'm lester holt. thanks for joining us. from nbc in washington, the world's longest running program, this is "meet the press" with david gregory. >> i was part of the last presidential election. we tried defeating this president. i wish we would have. elections have consequences, mr. speaker. >> good sunday morning. so how is it only in washington can an agreement be so divisive? that's how it works around here. that was house committee chairman paul ryan, challenging gop critics on this budget deal that passed overwhelmingly in the house this week with support from both sides of the aisle. the deal is expected to pass the senate coming up. i spoke exclusively to the architects of the deal, both
ryan and senator patty murray of washington state. we'll show you that interview in a couple minutes, but to me the more provocative question with our congressman, bill richardson, nancy gibds, managing editor of time, kathleen parker and steve inskeep. you have this fight on the right. >> you're going to have lawmakers who complain about this because they have constituencies and it's safe to fight about it because it's going to pass, anyway. a lot of them are being addressed, deficits have gone down, taxes are going down a little bit, spending has gone down and that does create a little room for lawmakers to address issues they want to pass. it's safe to complain. >> it's a different conversation
that i had with ryan on the hill. you look at that furious response on the right, it makes me wonder whether things get worse, whether the right gets more entrenched on some of these questions. >> i've been talking to people on the hill, and on both sides, there's actually not much public interest in the budget, to tell you the truth. the conservative groups, yes. but john boehner made a very bold statement when he came out against these conservative groups. which he needed to do for a very long time, because they have been using these more junior members to advance what they want to do. >> why now was my question. why did he decide now was the time to strike back? >> my view is this is a positive turning point. this is a substantial budget agreement, not forever, but at the same time i think it shows that the grown-ups in the republican party have basically prevailed the vote, 3-1 in the house. boehner taking on the tea party in a successful way,